The Francis Howell School District on Wednesday sent out a safety alert to district patrons about rumors of potential violence in the district on Friday.
While no specifics were given, the district is working closely with local police departments on the matter.
Students will have a half day on Friday. It's the last day of finals for secondary students.
This is the second local school district to have a reported threat on Friday. A threat was also reported at Holt High School in the Wentzville School District.
Here is the note sent out to district patrons Wednesday:
Good Afternoon Parents/Guardians:
First, thank you for your feedback and patience as we have worked through this week at our schools. It has been a challenging week for all of our parents, students, and staff. We are continuing to process the events of last week and evaluate our safety practices. Our students, staff and parents have been extremely supportive of the various needs of our community at this time.
When events such as the tragedy in Newtown occur, a lot of conversation and rumors are often generated. FHSD has been made aware of rumors of potential violence within our school district on Friday, December 21; no specific schools or names were given. I want to assure you that we always take all reports related to safety seriously. This information has been reported to local law enforcement, and we are working with them on this matter. They do not feel that the rumors have any credible basis.
We have asked our staff to be extra vigilant in their supervisory duties and report anything of a suspicious nature. As a continued safety precaution, we will maintain our increased police presence and security within the District through the end of the week. Friday is a half day for all students and the last day of finals for our secondary students, and it is our intent to conduct classes as usual on this day.
I encourage you to talk with your child about the seriousness of rumors and the importance of reporting suspicious activities, threats and other safety concerns to a trusted adult. If your child shares any of this type of information with you, please contact your school principal or me. Students also need to be aware that law enforcement agencies take these matters very seriously and are pursuing prosecution even when such incidents are intended as pranks.
The safety of our students is always our primary concern, and we will always take necessary precautions to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff. If you have a safety or security concern about your child’s school, please contact the school principal who has first-hand knowledge of the building’s practices.
I know these are extremely challenging times for all of you and for our students and staff as well. These unfortunate events create anxiety and uncertainty. Please be reassured that our schools are safe places. We regularly review our procedures and processes and will continue to make necessary adjustments in both the short- and long-term to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
I appreciate your continued support of Francis Howell and your child’s school.
Dr. Pam Sloan